Thursday, November 30, 2006

Bye-Bye Birdie

Hurricane season has officially ended. Only six months to go till next years hurricane season begins.

We can hardly wait.


Joseph C. Forte said...

I am the professor from Sarah Lawrence, Joseph Forte, who moderated the panel on Katrina. I must agree with much of the way that Marianne Cusato characterized the discussion of her presentation of the Katrina plans and amplify a bit. First, it is the job of any moderator to intervene when poeple have already taken a pounding as Matthew Berman of Workshop/apd did. Nothing was being said that was not made abundantly clear in earlier comments. I felt Ms. Cusato was continuing the pounding needlessly. I was the ref; I stopped the bout as a tko. When I said that her comments were the "populist point of view" they were not meant as dismissive, although it was clear that Ms. Cusato took them that way. Frankly I thought that the new Urbanists were populists and proud of it, but I apologize, if the context made it seem as a criticism. I felt that we had basically dispensed with the viability of the workshop/apd design and needed to move on to the larger issues. I was trying to re-orient the discussion from thinking about style to how clients in New Orleans wanted to live. The Global Green plan was indeed unpopular and frankly not well presented. Areas of the individual house plans that seemed to respond to the context of architecture in the Ninth Ward were not stressed, nor were the elements in the plan that responded to site well outlined.
The residents did greet my question about the form of the single family homes with a resounding "NO." We had had, however, the evening before presentations by members of Common Ground and Acorn that stressed environmental factors as important issues in the rebuilding of NO. Global Green clearly was responding to this, but at the cost of building a development that no one would live in or support. Yet green questions had circulated freely the evening before. I was trying to start a discussion of how architects from different points of view, New Urbanist, Ms. Cusato, and another more contextual Modernist, Deborah Gans, might respond. After the session, NO commentators were very supportive of Ms. Cusato's designs, but had one further question, whether the wholesale adoption of New Urbanist principles would pre-sage gentrification. This had less to do with Ms. Cusato than with the questions of district planning and provision for multiple services and forms, along with housing. Most of the residents loved the houses, but wanted a more comprehensive plan for their area. Unlike white neighboorhoods, The 9th ward lacks schools, goverment services, and commercial space. Residents would like to see these issues addressed. This is not to dismiss the support that Ms. Cusato's designs received, nor frankly to obviate an honest evaluation of the possibility of gentrification in the 9th, just to supply some additional supportive and clarifying commentary on what Ms. Cusato will agree was a very important symposium. I thank all the architects for their participation.

Kinch said...

I think this comment should be the the previous post, "Snake Oil Salesmen".